Tuesday, August 4, 2015

COLD REVENGE by Jo A Heistand Giveaway

Cold Revenge

by Jo A Hiestand

August 4 Book Blast




Synopsis:

cover

One year ago, Marta Hughes won a purse-choking sum of money at a local casino. She never returned home. Her body was discovered in a ditch twelve miles from her home; her car was back in her driveway. Linnet Isherwood cannot let her friend's unsolved murder rest. She convinces ex-cop Michael McLaren to return to the work he loves. He sifts through a confusing web of lies, misconceptions and veiled motives. Are anonymous late-night phone calls, a vanished hitchhiker, and a stalker wielding empty beer bottles somehow related to the case? Or maybe the woman he broke off with is seeking revenge.



Book Details:


Genre: British Mystery
Published by: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Publication Date: March 20th 2015
Number of Pages: 360
ISBN: 978-1628308907
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads



Read an excerpt:

He brought the photo closer so he could stare at the woman. She appeared to be in her mid-forties, a brunette with hazel eyes that looked amusingly at the photographer. She came up to her husband’s chin. The husband was a graying brunet and while her son had inherited her eye color, he was blond. McLaren had no time to comment on this.

Linnet said, “The others…” She leaned forward, her left arm bent and supporting her, and tapped each photo as she mentioned their names. “The group shot is Marta, her boss, and the vet for the shelter. This…” She skipped over the others in the photograph and pointed to the woman to the extreme left. “That’s Verity Dwyer.”

“The wrongly suspected coworker.” The woman in the photo had auburn hair that shone in the sunlight; her blue eyes smiled at him. Linnet nodded. “Yes. Suspected of killing Marta, though that wasn’t proved. But she was convicted of stealing money from the shelter. She’s three months into her sentence. She was… Oh, it’s extremely involved.”

“I’ve got more time than money. Tell me.”

 




Author Bio:

authorA true Anglophile, Jo Hiestand wanted to capture the traditional flavor of a detective crime novel and the intimate atmosphere of a British cozy. The result is the McLaren Case mystery series featuring ex-police detective Michael McLaren who now investigates cold cases on his own. Jo has combined her love of writing, board games and music by co-inventing P.I.R.A.T.E.S., the mystery-solving game that uses maps, graphics, song lyrics, and other clues to lead the players to the lost treasure. In 2001 she graduated from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. Peter Lovesey, author of the Sergeant Cribb and Peter Diamond series, praises Jo’s writing: “Immaculate research, attention to detail and an elegant style are the hallmarks of Jo Hiestand’s writing. (Horns of a Dilemma is) an atmospheric novel.” Jo founded the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, serving as its first president. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America.

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Giveaway:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jo A Hiestand. To win you must be a US resident and be able to provide a US mailing address within 24 hours of receiving an emailing notification of winning. The giveaway begins on Aug 3rd, 2015 and runs through Aug 15th, 2015. a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

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Monday, August 3, 2015

PEERLESS DETECTIVE by Michael Raleigh Giveaway!

Peerless Detective

by Michael Raleigh

August 3, 2015 Book Blast




Synopsis:

cover

Once Billy Fox starts looking for trouble, he discovers that—in Chicago—trouble's under every footstep.

Home from the war, Billy Fox leaves Michigan for Chicago, hoping to find his ex-girlfriend, Rita—now another man’s wife. Chicago isn’t a town that takes kindly to strangers, and Billy finds himself barely scraping by, working odd jobs and living in squalor among convicts and other men that the city hasn’t spit out just yet.

A chance encounter lands him a job with Harry Strummer, the streetwise owner of the Peerless Detective Agency. At Harry's oddball agency, Billy hones his skills, learning how to stake out a mark, find a bug, and spot a tail. Odd life lessons and unexpected romance come his way. But as he searches for Rita, an even bigger mystery comes along, one that puts Harry, and Billy with him, in the crosshairs.

This punchy, spellbinding noir spins a web that will catch readers and hold them captive to the final page, when we learn that Billy’s Chicago is a town where nothing is ever truly left up to chance.



Book Details:


Genre: Hard-Boiled PI
Published by: Diversion Books
Publication Date: August 4th 2015
Number of Pages: 301
ISBN: 1626817804 (ISBN13: 9781626817807)
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes Goodreads



Read an excerpt:

Billy Fox stood on the corner of Division and Clark waiting for a sign, at the end of his second endless week in Chicago,. Not from God, necessarily, for he was not yet convinced there was one. Just a sign that this was where he was supposed to be. And if not here, then where? He was beginning to believe the answer to that question might be nowhere. More than once in the past year he’d woken in a strange place, unable to remember for a moment where he was – just one more hot dark room on a street he didn’t know. Different rooms but the same smells of sweaty sheets and cigarettes, same panic squeezing his heart in a cold fist.

A cop car went by and the red-faced one riding shotgun gave him the look.

Yeah, you made me for a drifter.

What was the word now? A transient. The cop squinted his way and Billy met his eyes. If they spoke, Billy knew exactly how the conversation would play out.

I’m looking for work, Officer, he’d say.

But the cop lost interest, bored and hot, and they drove on.

Up the street he saw a hot dog joint. He’d told himself he wouldn’t eat until he knew where his next buck was going to come from – he was down to just a few bucks – but here was food, hot food, and he could smell the onions and the dogs and Polish sweating on the grill, and he shook his head. Almost time to stand on corners again. Hardest thing of all, you were either cut out for it or not, the ability to buttonhole strangers and feed them a line of crap: Hey, buddy, help a guy get back on his feet? Hey, man, I’m trying to get to (fill in the blank here but first you needed to know the names of places a guy on foot might be trying to get to). Hey, Miss, I just need to get a sandwich.

No, I don’t want to do that again, Billy thought. I’ll shovel shit somewhere in this place first.

Billy looked at the hotdog stand and began moving that way. He was just a few feet from the doorway of the hotdog stand when he saw the man in the suit – a white suit, an ice cream suit, his mother would have said, rumpled but a white suit nonetheless, and then the hat, a porkpie with the brim turned up all the way around, like something out of a gangster movie. A small man, but this man in the white suit moved up Division Street toward Billy in a rolling walk, what might have been his tough-guy strut, deep in thought, so deep, Billy thought, that he was nearly talking to himself. He could see the man’s jaw moving. The man looked up, seemed for the first time to notice the hot dog stand and stopped, jingling his change in his pockets in that way that Billy’s father had, as though reminding himself he wasn’t broke yet.

The man in the suit never saw the two kids step out from a doorway behind him. Two of them, one white and one black and Billy knew the look and what was about to go down. The white kid bumped the man off balance and the black one gave him a push and he went down. The white kid reached down with a practiced move and came up with a wallet. Then they were off. They’d gone only a few steps when a cab driver in a turban came running toward them, a big brown-skinned man with a black beard, and the kids took one look, stopped on a dime and went back the other way. The man in the suit was still on the sidewalk, he seemed stunned or injured. Then, as the kids ran past him, Billy saw a bony leg shoot out and the white kid went down, dropping the wallet as he hit the pavement. He scrambled for the wallet but the man in the white suit was on him like a cat. For a moment they were both reaching for it, even as they grappled with each other, and then Billy saw the wallet go flying off the curb. A passing pickup truck rolled over it. Billy walked over and picked it up. Then he turned in time to see the kid get to his feet.

They faced each other, a wiry middle-aged man in a white suit and a tall, thin street kid in a sleeveless t-shirt, and if asked Billy would have said the kid had already made his second mistake – there was no reason to turn this into a fight with witnesses – no, an audience. A few yards up the street, the second thief had stopped at the corner, started to come back and then had second thoughts: the small street action had drawn a crowd – four or five passersby, three of the cabdrivers parked beside the hotdog stand, a woman with a dog. The second kid shook his head in irritation and took off.

Billy hefted the wallet in his hand and told himself he was probably quick enough to take off without fear of pursuit, he’d have money. As though he’d heard the thought, the man in the white suit looked his way for the briefest moment in time, then turned his attention to the problem at hand.

The fighters circled in that old minuet of the street, the kid with his hands hung low, they all fought that way now – Muhammad Ali had ruined an entire generation of street fighters who all thought they could box with their hands down around their waists while they bounced and boogied. And as Billy watched, the kid began dancing and bobbing and moving his head, and looked startled when the man in the suit cracked him in the mouth with a stiff left. The kid licked his lip, glared and waded in throwing wild punches, and one grazed the small man along the side of his face but the others caught nothing but the air. The man in the suit moved steadily to his left, and just when the kid adjusted his stance to this movement, the man shifted his feet and began circling to the right. He threw the jab again, and another one, and then the right hand, which caught the kid on the cheek. The kid threw another roundhouse and took a punch in his eye, a perfect straight right, and the eye starting swelling immediately. The kid shook his head as though this might make the swelling go away. The man came inside then, moved inside the kid’s reach, the kid threw a half-hearted punch at the air, took a fist in the mouth and then bolted. A heavy-set bystander gave chase but stopped after a few paces, panting and grinning.

Billy waited as the short man patted and smoothed his now-abused costume, put the hat back on and gave it a little pat. He straightened his tie, tucked at his shirt cuffs, brushed dirt from his white trousers. He missed the place where his knee had hit the pavement.

The turbaned cabdriver said, “Are you all right, sir?” and the man in the suit held up a hand and nodded.

“No problem. And thanks.”

“You did good,” the cabdriver said, and the man shrugged.

The man in the suit looked around for the wallet – no, he knew exactly where the wallet was. He looked for Billy. Billy held up the wallet and stepped forward.

“Here you go.”

The man glanced at his wallet and then looked Billy in the eye. Then he grinned but Billy had caught the look that preceded the grin. It had passed in the merest fragment of a second but Billy knew this one, a measuring look, as though by looking Billy in the eye this man in the unlikely suit could tell if he’d taken anything out of the wallet.

“Thanks.” He took the wallet and made a show of wiping it off.

“A truck rolled over it. If you got credit cards in there…”

“Nah, no plastic for me. I’m a guy that pays cash.” Now he looked in the wallet, held it up. “Doesn’t look like they got anything.”

“Good,” Billy said and turned to leave.

“Hey,” the man called to him. “Thanks.”

He was holding out his hand. Billy shook it and the man came up with a small vinyl packet from which he extracted a business card.

“Here, take this. I’m just around the corner on Wells. My, ah, place of business, I mean. I’m Harry Strummer. If I can do anything for you – ” He squinted as though to get a better look at Billy. “You looking for work? If you’re looking for work I could make some calls.”

For the first time Billy Fox was embarrassed.

To hide his embarrassment he looked at the card. It said “H.A. Strummer, President.” Below this was the name “Peerless Detective Services,” and just below, as though it explained the name of the firm, the card promised “Discretion, Professionalism, Persistence. Licensed in three states.”

Billy bit back a sudden impulse to ask which three states. Instead he just nodded and said, “Okay. Thanks. I’ve got a couple things going right now –”

“Oh, sure, sure. Maybe sometime down the road, you’re looking for something, give me a jingle, I’ll get on the horn. Smart guy like you, there’s a lot out there.”

Billy heard that note in the voice, that Good-time-Charlie salesman’s note that said he was bullshitting and they both knew it, and the question came out as if of its own volition, “How do you know I’m smart?”

“Your eyes,” Harry Strummer said, as though this was obvious, and Harry Strummer’s own eyes said he was serious.

Billy stopped himself from asking what else Harry Strummer could see there.

“Okay, thanks,” he said, and left. At the next corner he stopped to wait for the light and shot a quick glance over his shoulder. The short fellow in the ice cream suit was walking toward Wells Street, hands in his pockets, looking at the traffic. But he hadn’t gone very far. He’d stood for a while and watched Billy.

*




Author Bio:

authorMichael Raleigh is the author of five mysteries set in Chicago and featuring detective Paul Whelan, as well as three other novels. He is Professor Emeritus of the City Colleges, where he taught Composition, Literature, and Chicago History. He currently teaches in the First Year Writing and Honors Programs at DePaul University. His novel THE RIVERVIEW MURDERS won the Eugene Izzi Award for best crime novel by a Chicago Writer, and he has been the recipient of four Illinois Arts Council awards for fiction. He is married with three children, and lives not far from the setting of the five Paul Whelan novels.

Find Michael Raleigh Online:
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Giveaway:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Michael Raleigh & Diversion Books. To win you must be a US resident and be able to provide a US mailing address within 24 hours of receiving an emailing notification of winning. The giveaway begins on Aug 2nd, 2015 and runs through Aug 15th, 2015.a Rafflecopter giveaway


 
 
 

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

ABOUT FACE by Fern Michaels



When Dr. Blake Hunter discovers Casey Edwards wandering along a Sweetwater, Georgia, road, she's a woman without a past, her memory stripped of the terrifying events that shattered her innocence a decade ago. The scrap of paper she clutches in her hand bears the address to Swan House, the magnificent mansion where Casey's mother lives with her mysteriously ailing husband. But "home" turns out to be anything but a safe haven. . .

Casey is determined to untangle the web of secrets that surround her. The answers lay somewhere within Swan House and its lavish gardens but someone wants Casey out of the way before she remembers too much. It will take the strength she's always had--and the love she's just found--to uncover her past and claim her future. . .

My thoughts...

A disturbing story of a child repeatedly raped by a stepbrother, placed in a mental institution and one day released. She enlists the aid of a doctor to help her remember what happened exactly. The tale is hard to take in areas yet the writer has lightened it with some interesting exchange thrown in occasionally. A decent case of characters and good writing make this the book to read.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

THE HUMMINGBIRD



From the author of the acclaimed The Curiosity comes a compelling and moving story of compassion, courage, and redemption.

Deborah Birch is a seasoned hospice nurse whose daily work requires courage and compassion. But her skills and experience are tested in new and dramatic ways when her easygoing husband, Michael, returns from his third deployment to Iraq haunted by nightmares, anxiety, and rage. She is determined to help him heal, and to restore the tender, loving marriage they once had.

At the same time, Deborah’s primary patient is Barclay Reed, a retired history professor and expert in the Pacific Theater of World War II whose career ended in academic scandal. Alone in the world, the embittered professor is dying. As Barclay begrudgingly comes to trust Deborah, he tells her stories from that long-ago war, which help her find a way to help her husband battle his demons.

My thoughts...

A touching story written in a way that takes you right to the heart of Deb, a hospice nurse whose husband has returned from duty with a diagnosis of PTSD. Their struggles have put their lives in disarray yet Deb is determined to make it work. A new client helps her to deal with Mark in a unique way.

I felt many emotions as I read through the pages of this sometimes predictable book but it ended with my feeling satisfied and pleased.

I received a copy of this book free from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

THE TOY TAKER by Luke Delaney



Snatched in the dead of night from the safety of the family home. There’s no sign of forced entry, no sign of struggle, and no one heard or saw a thing.

DI Sean Corrigan needs to find four-year-old George Bridgeman before abduction becomes murder. But his ability to see into dark minds, to think like those he hunts, has deserted him – just when he needs it most.

As he investigates, another child vanishes -- and still no trace. What kind of monster is Corrigan hunting? And will he work it out in time to save the children?

Author Info: Luke Delaney joined the Metropolitan Police Service in the late 1980s and his first posting was to an inner city area of South East London notorious for high levels of crime and extreme violence. He later joined CID where he investigated murders ranging from those committed by fledgling serial killers to gangland assassinations.

My thoughts...

Sean Corrigan is investigating a missing child case when another child disappears. With few clues and Sean's ability to see what's in the minds of those he hunts wavering this case becomes more difficult. He takes us on a wild ride with his usual array of strange characters, outside interference, and emotional involvement.

The third book in the series will delight as you go deep into the criminal minds. This is an interesting tale and I'm looking forward to Luke's next book.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Among the Fair Magnolias



During the most turbulent decade of our nation's history, four Southern women---their destinies forged by birth and heritage---face nearly impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander

Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home.

So when the new owner Aidan Bedford seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front---this time, a battle of the heart.

An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray

Seven years ago Russell Champion was betrayed by the two most important women in his life. Now Russell returns home, but is it too late to make amends with his mother and find closure with his true love?

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love

Abigail Clayton hopes to reconcile with Dr. Wade Bennett and become his wife. But her father insists she marry her distant cousin Charles Kittridge so the plantations of the two families will be joined. With her wedding looming, Abby must choose between duty to her family and the yearnings of her own heart.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser

Emily Derracott loves her childhood friend Thomas McGinnis, but she cannot marry a man who doesn't share her strong convictions about the freedmen. Besides, she harbors a secret love for someone else. But the prospect of becoming his wife is not only improbable---it is completely impossible.

My thoughts...

Each of these novellas are as special as the other, I really enjoyed reading them. Though the themes are similar each is different and left me believing in romance again. Tamera Alexander is talented and weaves her words in a way that grips your heart. Savannah Darby is delightful and determined. Easily touched by what she discovers in an old house.

Shelley Gray has written a love story with characters that you will love. Russell's story is sad but he a true hero at heart.

Abigail's story in "A Heart So True" is heartwarming. Her father's orders are to marry a distant cousin that breaks Abigail's heart, she's in love with someone that she believes will never be hers. Well written and endearing.

"Love Beyond Limits" was my favorite, Elizabeth Musser has always been one of my favorite writers. Everything about her books...from the setting to the characters are so real. Definitely a book I'll want to reread.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Kissing Persuasive Lips

Kissing Persuasive Lips

by Dale Wiley

July 14 Book Blast




Synopsis:

cover

Mick Lord had the world by the tail until his beautiful wife died. He was young, rich and handsome, a star in Hollywood and in the banking world. But when his wife was killed by a five-time loser driving drunk, everything changed. Mick is trying everything to tempt death, but nothing's working. He's even on an uncanny gambling streak that is just making him richer.

When Mick is attacked by a man claiming that Mick "stole" his home, Mick discovers that the company he sold his banks to has been forging his name in order to kick people out of their houses. Beautiful Kinley Baron wants him to keep quiet, but that's against everything Mick stands for. And when a rich old man maims a young woman right in front of him, Mick decides to use his fortune and his desire for death to settle some scores.



Book Details:


Genre: Thriller
Published by: Smashwords
Publication Date: July 2015
Number of Pages: 90
ISBN: 9781310490507
Purchase Links: SMASHWORDS Goodreads



Read an excerpt:

The Wynn Casino in Las Vegas is not flashy; at least not in comparison to the spastic neon and LED displays you find everywhere else along the strip. Its elegance and earthy style seem almost out of place. It may have vibrant red carpet running throughout the casino floor, but the shock of that regal red is covered by the acres of indoor trees (real, of course), baffling the noise and calming the senses.

At times, compared to the rest of the city, it feels like an oasis of calm and gentility.

A Tuesday afternoon in Vegas is like a Friday midnight anywhere else, but it was not usually the time for a high-stakes game like this one. But Michael Andrews Lord, known to the rest of the world as Mick, had prevailed upon the powers that be to open a blackjack table just for him, and had gotten them to agree to set the table minimum at $50,000 and the limit at one million dollars per hand. He had never played that much in one hand, but the opportunity was there.

Mick didn’t look like your typical high-roller. His wardrobe was strictly well-heeled beach bum. That day he wore a blue linen shirt, which brought out his eyes, a nice pair of Silver jeans and loafers without socks. That would come close to describing him on most days since he sold his banks and converted to his new life.

Most people would call Mick handsome, although he knew having money didn't hurt. He was six-two and a little on the skinny side, with light brown hair a little bit wavy and cut fairly short. He had a short beard he had grown six months earlier and become kind of fond of. Tabloids gushed and wondered who his next woman was. Mick was revolted by this, considering how recently his life had so dreadfully changed, but he knew that playing an absolute fortune in a blackjack game in this open fashion wasn’t going to calm any rumor mill. Sometimes his wants and his actions didn’t match up.

Although they couldn’t say as much out loud, The Wynn was not in the habit of losing as much money as they had lost to Mick over the past six months. His streak was almost uncanny; he might lose the smaller hands, but when he bet big, hundreds of thousands of dollars, his winning percentage was way above normal, and at the amounts he was playing, the casino was in no means ready to shut down, but the winning was taking its toll on all those in charge of keeping losses in line with industry guidelines. Frankly, the winning was raising eyebrows up and down the strip; it was unusual if not unheard of for someone to have his sustained winning streak at such large amounts.

And that Tuesday, with every blackjack player within ear shot standing a respectful distance back, but watching intently, Mick was winning again. He had to be up close to half a million.

He rubbed his eyes and yawned. “I’m about done,” he said to the dealer and to the floor boss who had joined him. Mick knew they were probably worried about their jobs, although he would go to whomever he needed to and make sure they knew it was not their fault.

Mick looked around. There were the Vegas old-timers, clutching oxygen tanks and players cards, working girls scanning the crowd for possible play, two French men who looked like they had walked off the set of Miami Vice and numerous tourists, wearing knee-length shorts and fluorescent t-shirts. A shoeshine man named Frank, whom Mick knew and often took care of, was off to the side, clearly rooting Mick on. Some of these he knew and liked, most of them just liked the action. Mick was giving it to them.

“Here we go,” he said in the middle of a yawn. “Let’s play for some real fun and then let’s be done with it.” His mouth smiled and his eyes didn’t.

He pushed all the chips in front of him to the middle of the table.

The dealer looked at the pit boss. He had dealt some big hands, but this was by far the highest stakes he had ever dealt. The floor boss said something into the microphone in his cuff, then nodded. The dealer indicated that there was $512,000 in play.

“Hand me twelve of that. Let’s make it simple math.”

The dealer pulled off chips totaling $12,000. As the cocktail waitress who had brought him his gin and tonics all afternoon approached again, Mick took that money and handed it to her.

“Something for you and Charlie,” he said, referring to her three-year-old son. Mick asked about and remembered almost everybody. The smile reached his eyes this time.

Her eyes doubled in size. He had already tipped her very well, a hundred dollar bill every time she brought him a drink. “I can’t …” she started, but his look stopped her.

“Mike, tell her it’s okay,” Mick said to the floor boss. Mike nodded and she took a deep breath and looked at the money that was now hers. She wanted to say something, to cry, to leap in the air, but she felt the tension of the moment too. She didn’t want to leave, but she still had a job to do, and Mick had turned back to the table.

“Five hundred thousand it is.”

The dealer gave Mick a nine and placed his own card face down. He next dealt Mick a seven, giving him the worst possible blackjack hand, a sixteen. He turned over a ten. Mick exhaled loudly.

“Great hand,” Mick rolled his eyes. He wanted to stay on the hand, but even with his agenda, he knew that he would stick to his system. Anything else, any random play, would be highly suspicious. He tapped the table. “Hit me, Carlos.”

Carlos gave him another card, almost wincing as he did. It was a deuce. The crowd sighed. He had an eighteen. Not a great hand, but still in it. Mick waved off any other cards. It was Carlos’ turn.

Carlos took his ten and used it to turn over his next card. Everyone watching strained to see what was underneath. They gasped as they saw a five. The game was still alive. This was good for Mick.

The crowd wanted Mick to win. To a man. He may have had the life that almost all of them envied greatly, and for some that envy could at times be malignant, but you never root for the house in Vegas. Even if you work for them. And the people who actually knew Mick found him to be even-tempered and kind to them, even in the midst of what had to be a hellish year in which his wife had been killed and his life had been turned into a spectacle with all that had entailed. They all knew he had turned to gambling, and they all knew he was winning there and was parading a bevy of starlets through his bedroom, coping with his grief in a public, uneven manner, doing things that even he admitted he didn’t like.

Several men called out, “face!” More than half the deck was his friend now. Carlos nodded and pulled out another card. An ace.

Everyone groaned. Carlos looked like he had killed an old woman. Was this going to be one of those hands where the little cards mounted up and won the day for the house yet again?

He turned over the next card. There it was: Jack of hearts. The room erupted. Mick had just won half a million dollars!

Mick didn’t crack a smile. He looked unsteady. He turned to the floor boss. “One more hand? Winner take all?”

The guests couldn’t believe their ears. A true million dollar hand?

Mike spoke into his collar. Even though it was marked as a million dollar table, he wanted to check with his superiors. This was obviously a big deal to everyone involved. He nodded. They would play for the million.

Carlos took another deep breath and fetched a card from the shoe. He gave Mick an ace and then dealt his hole card. He dealt Mick another ace. Everyone gasped. His second card lay face up, a six. Advantage: Mick.

Mick looked at Mike. More cuff talking. There was no need to ask what Mick wanted. He wanted to split, which was the only thing to do in his situation. Problem was, he obviously didn’t have an extra million dollars on him. Both people knew this was just a formality, that Wynn would gladly spot him the money in hopes of finally winning some back. Mike nodded. He was good for it.

Carlos pulled the next card from the shoe. An ace of clubs. The crowd erupted. He would get to split again. Holy cow! Mike spoke into his sleeve. The answer was clear, but everyone had to wait. Finally, he nodded. The casino would lend him two million dollars.

Carlos arranged the aces a similar distance from each other, and the crowd moved in a few inches more. Some of the tourists had video cameras on. They could sell this video if they could get a good shot. Mick Lord was always newsworthy.

Carlos lay down a ten of clubs on Mick’s first hand. Twenty-one. The crowd screamed. A king of spades was next. Twenty-one. Finally, the dealer gave Mick a six on his third hand. Soft seventeen. Mick pondered his next move. He always played the cards the same way, although he didn’t want to. He hit it anyway, Ten of hearts. Hard seventeen. Mick waved the dealer off.

Carlos had one hand. He could tie Mick on two hands, beat him on one. Carlos flipped up his hole card. He showed a five.

This drew a gasp from the crowd. Now a ten, the highest probability in the deck, would set Mick back a million bucks. Mick had never heard such a quiet crowd in Vegas. Couldn’t remember a single time.

Carlos thumbed the next card, slid it across in front of him and turned it over. It was a four. He now had fifteen. Once again, the odds had shifted in Mick’s favor. Carlos drew his next card. It was a seven.

Twenty-two.

The Wynn erupted like you’d expect in a World Cup match. They jumped and cheered and hugged in a show of solidarity rare anywhere, especially rare in Las Vegas.

All except Mick.

He had desperately wanted to lose.




Author Bio:

Dale Wiley is a Missouri attorney who has had a character named after him on CSI, owned a record label, been interviewed by Bob Edwards on NPR's Morning Edition and made motorcycles for Merle Haggard and John Paul DeJoria. He has three awesome kids and spends his days working as a lawyer fighting the big banks.

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